By Fire and Ice: Antivirus

September 14, 2014: The technical wing of the joint SHIELD/X-men strike force takes out Hydra's viral storage facility in Greenland.

Hydra Base — Greenland



  • Hydra guards (emits all by Aspect)
  • Hydra technicians
  • Mutant guardians

Mood Music:

The flight over is long and while the Bus is well equipped, it's a mobile command center and strike team deployment craft, not a luxury airliner. Jericho wasn't on it, for reasons that some will know and others won't. Either way now isn't the time to explain it. He did, however, manage to have a briefing ready so that they could hit the ground running, as it were.

"Hydra is set up on the site of what used to be Camp Century. Back in the sixties the US Army dug this place up as a experimental base to see how viable it was to have nuclear launch facilities under the Greenland Ice Cap. The project - Project Iceworm - only lasted for six years before the Army shut it down but the base remained. Hydra found it at some point and expanded on it. There are miles of tunnels under the ice. This facility is very, very large and the cell we're taking on is going to be well equipped and on alert. They know SHIELD and others have been striking their satellite facilities world wide, so expect things to go hot real fast.

We have three primary objectives. Team Two, that's you guys here, the southern access control point is nearest to the Virus Storage. You have to get there and neutralize virus stored there. If it gets out, it'll contaminate most of the Arctic pretty damn fast and it doesn't get warm enough here for it to burn off on it's own. Be aware that there is a guardhouse, pretty big one, on your route. Good luck, and don't get shot. Aspect, Out."

The Southern Access point is a shallow ramp leading down to a large hydraulically controlled door wide enough for two or three trucks at a time. It doesn't appear to be guarded as the team makes their approach.


"God, I hate this place." Sam Wilson is wearing the best cold weather gear he could manage without bulking himself up enough to interfere with his flight systems. Which is to say, he's dressed a bit more lightly than the rest of the mere humans on the team, and accordingly miserable in the biting wind of Greenland.

He's on the wing, above and ahead of the rest of the team, scouting for opposition and seeing none. No wonder, either: you'd have to be even more insane to be out in this cold than you would to join Hydra in the first place. "The way looks clear," he says over his headset communicator, flicking through a few of the visual filters on his goggles to be sure. "All the same, I'm going to touch down at the entrance and see if that stirs anything up." He furls his wings and dives, preparing to do just that.


While Jemma Simmons is quite the biologist and certainly one of the best people within SHIELD to help neutralize the virus, she is not exactly a Field Agent. In fact, she hasn't even been cleared for combat. That hasn't stopped her from being with the others, no longer dressed in her normal flannel, slacks and sweaters. She is, instead, in dark black winter gear, a combat vest strapped to her small frame. Nervously, she stands next to Fitz, looking about at the visible team.

"Well," she says in her prim British accent, "this is exciting, isn't it, Fitz?" Her voice audibly quivers a bit, but she is certainly attempting to put on a brave face. At least Fitz is here for moral support and extreme technological know-how. The pair of them will definitely make it through this. They've been through…well, not worse and certainly nothing more dangerous, but they've been through things together and that counts for something.


Cricket has changed on the flight to something a little more geared for the weather, but still far lighter than it should be. And fashionable. Ugh! If Gucci or Chanel or Louis Vuitton makes cold weather gear, that would be what Cricket is wearing. Fur lining and everything. And she's forgone the weapons vest, claiming that it's far too bulky. Naturally Tony Stark thought she'd be a great fit!

She smiles over at the other woman. "Don't worry. We'll be safe. All these fine strapping men to protect us," she says, with just a hint of playful sarcasm in her voice.


Cold weather gear? SHIELD has that, in surplus. Leo Fitz is properly suited up, and beneath the fuzzy hood covering most of his head, his face is a mixture of excitement and fear. He's dressed similarly to Simmons, and doesn't seem willing to leave her side.

"It's brilliant," answers Fitz, his voice bearing a similar nervousness to it. His eyes flash around to the various people and their armaments, wishing he had more confidence with an assault rifle than he truly has. Rather than being armed with a weapon, Fitz carries with him two cases and a satchel over his shoulder, weighed down with his own sophisticated tech gear. "So," he asks, "Where to?"


Mike has been working on something special for this place. He has a design for a virus killing toy. He's combined with the big metal block and is currently in the form of a three-seater hover-style flying machine, with cargo space. That design was made up when he found out he had three other people on his strike team who didn't necessarily know about the proper use of motorized snowmobiles. So the robot calls out, "Get on. We're going in, I'll screen us from radar."

"Load your equipment in the cargo compartment." A dual-covered compartment opens.


The door remains very… doorish. It's kind of eerie out here really. It's quiet and if they weren't at the perfect angle to be looking onto a loading ramp, they'd never know it was there. Hydra picked the place well, that's for darn sure.

Well. Doorbell ditching, anyone?


Sam's boots scuff on the packed snow as he touches down, canting his metallic wings defensively on either side, in case he does take a shot from a very well-hidden guard. His own sidearm is drawn and ready; he's holding off on the Uzis for the moment. After several tense seconds of waiting, he speaks again. "Looks clear. Hope you guys have something for this door, because bullets aren't going to cut it and I'd rather not knock."


With her hood pulled up over her hair, Jemma nods and looks to Fitz and one of his satchels. "Well, we do have something we've been cooking up," the young scientist tells Sam confidentially. "It's not exactly a door knocker, but it should be able to figure out the proper frequency that the door uses if its an electronic lock. If not, I think Fitz has something that works on purely mechanical doors. Did we bring them both? I think we did," she tells them, tooting through one of her satchels.


Cricket puts her tablet in a fur-lined satchel so it doesn't get too cold. Between that and her fur-lined wedge heeled boots that match her outfit, she is ready to go. She walks of the ramp and looks around, not seeming too concerned with being noticed as she scans of the area. She points to the hidden ramp, even though it's not hidden from their angle, her other hand at her ear. "Scans tell me that the security software is shielded for EMP. I could try to hack it from here, but it would be easier if we could find a connection." She then looks over to Jemma. "Or we could do it your way, if you prefer."


"… Cool!" Fitz casts a glance Simmons' way when Mike invites them on board, and promptly tromps over to stuff his gear into Mike's compartment.

To Sam, Fitz smiles brightly. "I've got just the thing." As soon as they are off Mike's sled, he withdraws the satchel and rushes up toward the door. "Oh, I brought them both," he smiles, and ruffles through his satchel.

He comes up with a small device, circular in nature, which comes to life with a small whirring sound. He scans the device across the door, and when it finally begins to beep, he actually hope excitedly in the air. "I've got it!" he breathes, and punches a few commands into the device. "Bypassing security protocols, engaging auto-synchronization, aaaaand….." He eyes the device as it works through the security decryptions, one after the other.

A red square turns blue. Then another. Then a third. The fourth… well, it hangs a bit, and Fitz seethes. "Come on, girl… bollocks!"


Mike scans the door in his own particular way. It's all about the Stay Out Unless You're The Right Person. He looks at the alarm circuit and makes it stay in the 'No Alarm' status by main force of will.

"Come on, let go," the robot snarls at the door insistently. "Let us in!"


Fitz's device abruptly goes all systems go and the door audibly chunk's and slides open. SHIELD? Meet Mike, your own personal door whisperer.

Unfortunately… the door opening is loud. It creaks and groans echoing over the ice cap and in the tunnels as it slides open. On the other side are a trio of very surprised looking folks in lab coats. Further in, the team might be see another pair of people bolt further into the complex. Moments later…

Braaaaaaaaaaap. Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaap. Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap

Knock, knock, anyone?


Behind his goggles, Sam has a private roll of his eyes as the techies banter back and forth over the most innovative ways to open a door. Once Fitz gets to work, though, he waves the group over to a spot just off to the side of the entrance. "Over here, people. We don't want to be framed in the doorway when it opens — that's a great way to end up dead."

For his part, he makes a wing-assisted leap up to the top of the entrance, waits for the door to open, and then hangs down, sweeping the sights of one of his Uzis back and forth over the loading bay. It's not exactly a standard move, but it's the direction any guards will least expect targets to pop out from, right?

Unfortunately, he doesn't manage to tag the pair before they run for the alarm. He mutters an oath, somersaults the rest of the way off the archway, and jets into the room. "Down on the ground!" he yells, menacing the lab coats with the machine pistol, placing his body and his metal wings between the potential hostiles and his team.


Eagerly, Simmons moves to stand by Fitz, looking over his shoulder at the red squares. "Did you calibrate it properly? You know how finicky it gets if you don't account for certain extremes, and with the weather being as it is…" Well, that might be the reason the fourth square is hanging. Though nervous, she sounds all the world as if they were testing the device back in the Bus lab.

Her eyes drift to Sam for a moment, her own eyes quietly studying the wings, calculations starting to figure out just how the device is able to counteract the weight of a full grown man as well as wind resistance and all the other things that could go wrong when propelling a man into the air.

With a quick shake of her head, she puts her mind back in the game, then stares at Mike and his growling, surprised when the verbal command works. Her eyes widen at the sudden alarm. "Oh, oh dear." Though she has her own weapon, she had a hope that she wouldn't have to use it. She's never been good at going off book, so when ordered she quickly moves into the facility and gets down behind the nearest thing she can find, making sure Fitz remains either within reach or within sight.


Watching as Fitz works on the door, Cricket takes the time to read over his full dossier in her mind. Her father would have liked him. Wonderful skillset. She must talk to him later at great length about engineering. For now, seeing as she's not needed, she sits down on Mike, crossing one leg over the other and smiles down at the snowmobile that is Metal. "Hello again. I must say, you looked much more attractive before."

Cricket looks over to the door. "Are you sure I couldn't be of some sort of assistance?" she says, raising a hand. As the door opens, Cricket smiles and golfclaps for Fitz. "Very well done, sir," she says as she starts to sashay to the open doorway.

As Falcon flies in, Cricket strides into the hallway. "I'd do what he says. According to his dossier, he can be quite deadly if he needs to be." If anyone is paying attention, it might seem odd that Cricket is keeping herself between the potential hostile forces and FitzSimmons, which might be odd considering she appears to be just as slight of build as Jemma herself.


Noticing something unfamiliar on his hacking device, Fitz pans over to stare at Mike. Whatever it was, he's positively beaming. "Brilliant!" he says, before turning his beaming expression upon Cricket. Wow, she, really is…

Then, the door opens.


With a gasp, Fitz dashes toward one of the walls, flattening himself against it while Falcon and Cricket move in. His eyes are wide, expression a mixture of that same excitement and fear he'd exhibited earlier, only two-fold now. He moves in alongside Simmons, and looks to his fellow scientist with wild eyes. "This is what you bloody expected when you recommended we do field ops?" he hisses.

Fitz, clearly, would rather be in a lab.


There's a definite problem with people in labs and things being heroic or stupid.

"Gas masks on," Mike growls again. "Protective gear as well."

He seems to have a rather negative attitude about the Hydra scientists, because he fires a series of fist-sized missiles into the halls. They are lovely things these missiles. They give off tremendous clouds of gas in their wake… made of fine droplets of DMSO and Capsaicin. It's entirely nasty stuff and it's intended to prevent anyone who encounters it from wanting to do much of anything else. The missiles, as if they were Hydra-seeking devices, find their way unerringly towards the lab, towards collections of Hydra people.


Mike's caustic weapon heads unerringly inward and everyone can hear the muted thumps of their detonations. Similar to Jericho, Mike is also able to tap the local network and get a sense of who is headed their way.

The answer is, a lot of people. They'd better get moving because the security force is converging on this place like ants on sugar. There's twenty within a hundred meters and another sixty or so beyond that. Fortunately, so far, their route to the virus containment area is relatively clear.

Who wants to take bets on how long it'll stay that way?

Sam has the lab techs cowed so well they don't even notice Cricket's additional ominous statements. Well, who really notices Cricket in these kinds of situations? Fitz and Simmons don't appear to be in any immediate danger but…

Who wants to take bets on how long it'll stay that way?


"What the—?" Falcon dives to one knee as the missiles fly past him, folding his wings back and scrambling to get a mask on. Once it's in place, he turns to give Metal a look. Between the goggles and the mask, it's hard to tell what kind of look, of course. He shakes his head and stands back up. "Check them for security passes and let's go," he says, voice muffled by the air filter. It would be convenient to be able to open any further doors the old fashioned way. He's already moving to check the way ahead for hostiles, ready to shoot to keep the way clear if necessary.


"You're the one that agreed!" Simmons replies just as testily, as if there weren't a firefight and horror going on about them. "And, well, you were enjoying yourself just a minute ago!" However, as she scrambles to put on a gas mask, a hand reaches out in an attempt to grab at Fitz. It's both for comfort and to spur him forward.

"Come on," she tells him, the adrenaline rushing through her ears. She's quick to pull up beside Cricket and Falcon. "Yes, everyone does seem rather dangerous. I'm glad we're all on the same side," she replies to Cricket's observation - especially when there are people shooting liquid fire and spraying bullets. Though she does seem curious about her own positioning, she's not about to argue. Just as promised, she's quick to follow Falcon's orders.


Cricket looks over to Metal and pouts as he mentions gas masks. To reveal herself or to continue the masquerade? "And ruin my make-up? I'd rather not, thank you," she says in haughty tones. She does, however, turn off the sensors that have her reacting in a human fashion to the capsaicin. Waltzing passed the lab coated techs, she removes their security passes, smiling at them in her sweet and friendly way, which in this situation is a little off-putting. "Thank you. I don't think you'll be needing these."

She starts to stride with determination towards the labs. "We have twenty on the way down that corridor with another sixty coming to back them up in under ten minutes. I suggest we pick up the pace? JARVIS darling? Do you think you could slow down the approach of the small army that is coming our way?"

"Yes Miss Schodt. I have triggered the storm doors throughout the facility," says a male voice with a British accent from her satchel. "Thank you, JARVIS. You're too good to me."


"What the—!" Fitz scrambles to open his satchel and retrieve the gas mask, fixing it over his face. Eyes remain wide as he watches Metal to to work, and follows along with the others like a good little agent. He is, of course, sticking close to Jemma, and goes wherever she goes.

Out from the satchel comes another device, a tiny, remote control, small enough to be easily tucked into the engineer's hand. He waves it about, stopping for a moment upon Cricket. It only takes a moment, but his eyes look from the device to the robot-girl, and he seems, well, for lack of a better word, starstruck.

Its short lived. He touches the device, and announces, "I think it's time we gave our seekers their field test." He grins at Simmons, then raises the device to his face and says, "Ob-la-di, ob-la-da!"

The least likely phrase to be uttered in a combat situation.

Promptly, two groups of six orbs, glowing yellow, emerge from Mike's storage. Magnum, Higgins, TC, Rick, Robin and Masters. The second group? Luke, Han, Leia, Obi-Wan, Lando and Yoda. Yes, they all have names, and while the sophisticated devices zoom ahead of the group, it's a toss up which one of them will find the virus first. One thing's for certain… if FitzSimmons are as brilliant as their reputation suggests, the seekers will find their prize.


Security forces. Metal listens to the security radio and sets it to relay back to Fitz, Simmons, and Cricket, and offers it to Sam's heads-up as a secondary data feed. That'll ensure they know what's coming as well as he does. He's scanning through the missile bodies to find the hollow metal tank feel that could be virus containers.

"Incoming Hydra Security. Watch out for gas residue, it's capsaicin and it'll burn like fire if you touch it."

He looks around at the lab techs. The flat metal faceplate doesn't convey his distaste. However, the quickly sequential smoke-release from their communicators, and then one of the metal lab benches comes apart into strips of metal, forming band-restraints - every Hydra lab tech gets their own set of ankle, knee, elbow, and wrist restraints, leaving them sitting in a slightly uncomfortable but not particularly escapable position. An unseen smile as Fitz deploy scanners. They'll confirm locations - it's a pain to accidentally destroy a water tank or septic tank, after all.

"Viroid tanks seem to be down this hallway," and he smiles internally at the touch of Jarvis remotely doing the nasty to their internal systems. "Thanks, Cricket, that saves me some time."


The storm doors trick? That was inspired. The group can make relatively unimpeded progress to the virus containment area while the security forces try to take down their own doors. Nicely done Team Brains!

Once they get to the virus containment area… vaults is a better word actually. The virus containment vaults are huge, many tiered and stuffed with virod canisters. Eliminating them one at a time would take weeks. Fortunately they seem to be hooked up to a single kill system. The console in the center of the pit, two stories down, suspended on a creepy, star wars like platform connected by four bridges, will fry them all. This is why, of course, it is guarded.

It is guarded by what look like a pack of skinned dogs, if they were scaled up to the size of small horses and a pair of mutant aberrations that must be a good eight or nine feet tall, replete with bone spikes and Hulking physiques.

And to make things worse? One of them has wings.


Falcon glances at Cricket's satchel with an amused expression. "Sometimes I think I'm the only guy at Stark who doesn't have my own JARVIS," he comments. "Should have written that into my contract." As the seekers whiz past them, he gives them a curious look, then follows at the point position of the team, guns drawn. His goggles take the data feed from Mike and turn it into a HUD overlay, so that he can watch with amusement as Hydra guards all around struggle with their own security. Morale: boosted.

Which is a good thing, since a few moments later, they come into view of the horrors guarding the virus storage controls. "Okay. Gross," Sam comments, his wings coming unfurled. "Looks like they've got a flier, too. Wish me luck."

And without further comment, he vaults over the railing, soaring in a tremendous swoop past the guard force. He strafes their bridge with automatic fire, hoping to scatter them and take a few out before he has to focus on gaining air superiority.


If they were not under fire or attempting to find a deadly virus, Simmons would almost certainly give Fitz more of a ribbing at the way he's staring at Cricket. As it stands, all she does, is give him a raised eyebrow. But, then, as the seekers are going about their work, she moves follows their progress on the screen. Immediately recognizing one of the signatures, she points, "There," she's confident, quick to follow after Obi=Wan toward the console, the pit and the dogs. A dog with wings.

"Oh wow, look at those mutations," while it's clear that she's awed by them, that doesn't mean she wants them to come after them. "Here, here," she's already rummaging through her bag. While she has yet to finish the serum of dendrotoxin, she has worked on other things, side effects of her research. Pulling out clips and even a gun, she holds them out to the people most likely able to use them - she'll even toss one to Falcon as he starts to swoop past. She could shoot at the dogs, but she's more likely to waste the serum by all the missed shots she would have. "These are filled with enough Doxylamine and Dextromethorphan to knock them out!"


Cricket notices Fitz scanning the area, and considering the genius that is reputed to him, she knows her secret is out. She smiles at him bringing a finger to her lips. "A gentleman always keeps a lady's secrets," she reminds him in conspiratorial tones, that smile still playing on her lips. This is no time for flirting! It's even worse when she gets an equally starstruck look on her face upon seeing the small drones. She applauds them girlishly. "Oh how lovely! I would love to look at those more closely when we're done here, Dr. Fitz."

Cricket smiles over to Metal as he thanks her for asking JARVIS for help. "Well, a girl can't do *all* the work around here. I might break a nail." Upon which she double checks her manicure and makes a mental note to go over her personality matrix. Her creator really was a misogynistic jerk, making her human personality so very two dimensional.

Cricket follows the group to the room with the viroid canisters, sighing with exasperation when she sees the size of them, and moreso at what is between them and the console. She takes on a stance of readiness, as if a woman her size could really go toe to toe with one of these things. One of the skinless dogs lunges at her, tearing her designer outfit. She glares at it angrily. "I just bought this outfit! I even had it bespoke for the occasion!" she yells at it furiously before swinging a punch down *into* its skull. Mental note. Don't ruin Cricket's outfits. Apparently that is a killable offense.


"Uh… oh, uh, of course, yes, naturally." This is Leopold Fitz's entirely awkward response to Cricket. Because, she… just… yeah. "I will, yes, of course, you can e-mail at…" Moving on!

Leo's attention is promptly stolen when his scanner picks up feedback from one of the seekers. "The Force is with us," quips Fitz when Obi-Wan, the seeker, pings upon the virus containers, leading the team into the right direction. Once there, however, his face grows pale. Those mutant dogs and the aberrations riding them are not at all fascinating to Fitz as they are to Simmons.

"Bloody—" he starts to curse, but then dives into his satchel again. Those two boxes? They were for the seekers. Everything else he's got with him, including the standard issue SHIELD sidearm, is in his satchel.

Pulling out a square shaped device, Fitz hunkers next to Simmons, eyes darting from container to container, then down to the centralized control area. "Okay, so, let's see. Parabolic connections. Triple, maybe quadruple encrypted lines with a wireless backup. I don't think we can deactivate it from a distance, it will engage at least four backups, but, maybe, I can…" Fitz scratches his head and buries his face in the device, fingers rapping in a percussive manner through the various menus and commands. He's trying to find some way of shutting down the viroid containers remotely, in case the team isn't able to get through those monstrosities.


Metal double-checks that kill system with his tech sense, because he's really NOT trusting that Hydra really put a self-destruct on their weapon. That just doesn't make sense to him. For a good three seconds his robot body is running secondary consciousness, and his technomantic sense is feeling hard around the machine in the center, because he has to be sure. And it's fighting him all the way because it's perhaps the most hateful and vile tempered 'emergent mind' that the technomantic mutant has ever encountered. But he finds a 'deviation sensor'… That's the answer. Then he's back in his body, in time to throw out a handful of remotes, setting them up to move protectively around the SHIELD scientists, just in case.

"Fitz, Simmons, Cricket. There's a mutation sensor that detects whether the viroid has become dangerous to regular humans and destroys it if it has, and we need to trigger it on all those bottles because it's individual. Here's the spec," and he sends the location, the codes, and the interface for the sensors. He erupts in a cloud of mosquito-sized small machines which swirl out and down to attach to each bottle, opening a "hole" in the protocol so that they can send the messages back to the main compute device.

"I'll open them. You guys split them up and take 'em out please," he says.


One of the dog things goes down to Sam's bullets. Another to Cricket's fists. The remaining ones make a beeline for the scientist types. Cricket in the meantime gets an abomination to tangle with. It's easily a bit over twice her height. And one limb is like a very thick club rather than a hand. This it swings right down at the diminutive woman with enough force to pulp someone's bones outright.

Sam's flyer isn't any less persistent and, joy of joys, it spits acid. It's fast too. Not as fast as he is, but in the confines of this pit? It may well be fast enough.


Sam isn't certain that sparing these mutations' lives is really an act of mercy, but he'll defer to the big brains unless he really needs the Uzis' firepower. He executes a quick barrel roll to catch the tossed pistol, but doesn't have time to do much else before he's engaged in a no-holds-barred dogfight with the acid spitter.

He tries the Exo flight system to its limits, screaming through maneuvers that barely seem possible in his evasion of the lethal loogies. He folds his wings and dives down among the tanks, hoping to use them as cover to break line of sight, maybe even get on his enemy's tail. At the speeds he's going, the close confines can be deadly enough on their own.

The moment he has a tank between himself and the mutated flier, he cuts thrust, spins to a vertical orientation, and rockets upward, holding Simmons' pistol at his side, ready to fire downward and hopefully catch his pursuer unawares.


"Not the time Fitz!~" Simmons trills as the scientist stumbles over setting up another time to get together with Cricket. Instead, her eyes are focused on the scary platform. "That kill switch down there, we should be able to get them all from there. It'll take weeks to do it any other way. Look how many vaults there are," she tells Mike. "If we can just get down to the platform, we can get them all at once." Her sleepy pistol (not quite the night-night gun) has been given to Falcon. "Come on, if we run down there while they're distracted, we could shut it down. Right?" She looks squarely at Fitz. "Especially with those specs."


Well, if there was any doubt that Cricket is not actually human, the behemoth that tried to smash her with its clublike fist helps to dispel that notion. The fact that she is able to hold it off with one hand over her head is one thing, bearing the weight of its anger while her other hand balls into a fist. She holds it out to him and her designer coat is torn as a small laser cannon bursts out of her lower arm and blasts the monstrosity in the face.

Cricket is about to turn to the scientists, keeping the humans safe from harm, when another of the canines leaps at her, it's jaws tearing at her face. Underneath is something that is reminiscent of the Terminator movies, half sweet, friendly, spoiled debutante and half killer robot. She holds out her hand for the knock out drug that Simmons seems to want her to use, shooting the skinless canine twice in the chest even as it's trying to bear its teeth down on her metallic skull. "First my outfit and now my face? You monsters have no manners whatsoever."

With the dog on her head down, she offers her hands to the scientists. "I can fly you both down there. You will likely be safer there as well, away from the beasties." In other words, come with me if you want to live.


"Mutation sensor," Fitz answers, looking from Mike to Simmons, even while Mike's feed comes up on his square computing device. "That's it! Simmons. Blood sample." He sticks out his arm, offering it freely. "I can send it to the seekers, call them back, and have them deliver it to the capsules!"

Fully expecting Simmons to make quick on drawing his blood, the scientist begins keying commands into the device, calling the seekers back from wherever else it was they had gone. However, he's distracted by Simmons' argument. "Yes, but it's individually activated! We can send the command from there, but we need to enable the proper reception device!" Fortunately, Cricket shows up. By now, the weight of the situation is far beyond the scientist's lame attempts at getting a date, which is probably a good thing — though he does spare a brief glance at her Terminator-style face — before holding his hand out to Cricket, then reaching for Simmons. "Come on!"

The glowing yellow seekers begin to emerge from various tunnels and crevasses. One by one, they begin attaching to the capsules, whirring and beeping as they go.


"It's REALLY a rude machine," Metal says, having reduced in size when he sent out the cloud of mosquitoes, so he's merely a two meter rather than two and a half meter robot…

"I tried to get it to activate the mass-kill… it kept saying 'cut off one head and two more spring up' at me. If you want to try hacking it directly I'm good, but otherwise, I'm going to start sending false deviation alarms on the bottom-most rank. Use the address range I sent to your pad, Fitz, it's a physical hack. Yeah, that's the way," as the seekers start moving around and activating the 'shoot me now' sensors.

He turns one of the remotes flittering around them into a flechette through one of the approaching dog-mutant-things as it lunges at Fitz from behind them, then uses it to lift and hurl the thing into its fellows with great force. He's not being nice to the horrible monstrosities. They're distracting. Stupid Hydra.


Cricket's offer to vacate the scientists reveals a flaw in her tactical plan. The behemoth wasn't dead. It gets up, groaning and looks around for his target. Not finding Cricket, he settles on Mike. It roars and charges again, swinging that club with intent to knock Mike into next Tuesday. Or to the bottom of the pit. Whichever comes first.

Okay. Strike that. This thing is faster than Sam in here. He could probably outrun it with enough open sky but it accelerates too fast and he just doesn't have the room. It's on his six, spitting more acid. However… Sam did just discover that he absolutely corners much, much better. This… may suggest something creative.

One by one the virus canisters fry as the brains do an admirable job of tripping those sensors. Soon they're going off like so much popcorn!


Sam squeezes off five shots — and all miss. In order to keep from getting melted by monster spit, he has to maneuver too wildly to get a clean shot. This is just not a fight he's likely to win with a ranged weapon. Time to try something else, then. He's up above the bridges again, so he levels off and cuts past the spot where the techies are fighting off the dog-things. He fires a snare from his gauntlet — the 'talon' — grabbing one of the dogs that is about to pounce and dragging it off the bridge an instant later.

Now Falcon is towing a big heavy angry thing with teeth at the end of a cable. He banks and turns, dragging the beastie on an accelerating arc like the world's largest flail. Right on cue, the less maneuverable flier flaps up above the level of the tanks and is swatted out of the sky by a raging dogbeast. Falcon releases the talon's magnetic clamp and lets both creatures plummet to the floor far below.

A quick boost of speed sends him back to the rest of the team. Alone in the skies now, he can line up careful shots and start putting down the mutated dogs. "Let's get a move on, people," he calls. "I'm clear if anyone needs a ride."


"It's more than that, though!" Simmons pulls Fitz's blood and quickly inputs it into the seekers. "We need to make it seem like your blood has been contaminated with the virus without breaking open one of the canisters." Dragging something else out of her bag, she quickly shakes it. It looks like a syringe. Luckily, she brought an inoculater along and the signatures when mixed with Fitz's blood should hopefully give a false positive. Quickly, she injects the inoculation into the blood sample.

Then, she reaches out for Cricket and Fitz, ready to get toward the platform to assist Fitz with whatever else he might need there.


Cricket watches the pair of scientists, smiling with fascination as they work so well. They are like a binary system, so perfectly synchronized. When they are ready, she gets them to loop their arms about her neck and takes off. The skin off her palms is burned off as are the soles of her shoes as she takes off, Cricket not having the advantage of repulsors to propel her but old fashioned miniature jet engine propulsion instead.

She lands the pair on the console that hangs in the middle of all the tanks. "Quickly. They are almost passed their own security. JARVIS? How much longer do we have?"

"Estimated time before arrives is 90 seconds, Miss Schodt."


Once Cricket has carried Fitz and Simmons to the platform, Fitz hops off and snatches the blood sample from his partner. "Okay, brilliant," he says, and quickly plugs the blood sample into his control device. Fingers rap across it in rapid fire as he programs the machine, then fixes it to the control interface. His eyes are all focus as he works the central control panel, and at one point, he blurts out, "AH BOLLOCKS, YOU FECKING WORTHLESS ROT!!!" He reaches out and slams his fist into the console, which… causes all of the red security alerts to go blue. "Ah!" he yelps, and punches a few more commands in, before turning aside and holding the control panel up, thumb hovering over the "ACTIVATE PROGRAM" button.

Fitz winces.

"Here goes nothing."



Metal is a two meter tall robot which appears to be doing horrible things to the important hardware in the base. Thus, it's entirely unfair to treat him like the obvious target he is. Fortunately, though, he's got a process thread engaged in defense, and even though his metal-and-tech control is currently pretty much taken up in holding open the accesses for the tech guys to trigger those sensors, he's getting some back with each bottle that blows, and that gives him enough to anchor himself against the attacking beast, and to reshape one hand. It's now a lovely curved blade with a very very very thin edge, coming out to block the incoming club-limb the same way a katana blocks an incoming leg kick in a battle. This may well be messy.

Another consciousness thread, the one that's watching the scientists, is hoping that Simmons' trick will make for a more energetic response. He's got a feeling that the machine is beginning to suspect an error in its sensors with so many sudden mutation-alarms.


The virus canisters all suddenly destruct as the program surges through and kills them. Alarms begin to ring. Suddenly. "Alert. Alert. Prime Commander deceased. Self Destruct in Thirty Seconds. Hail Hydra." Moments later, from somewhere, teleport beams home in on everyone present… and… they find themselves in the parking lot fo the Tri?

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